Toronto Silent Film Festival: The Man Who Laughs

Get ready for Hallowe'en by seeing the original inspiration for The Joker!

"One of the final treasures of German silent expressionism"-Roger Ebert

Toronto Silent Film Festival & The Fox Theatre present a masterpiece from the silent film era-The Man Who Laughs 1928 with live musical accompaniment by Bill O'Meara.

Starring Conrad Veidt (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Casablanca) as Gwynplaine, a traveling sideshow performer, his face mutilated into a ghastly grin as a child as revenge for his father's treachery. While the crowds jeer at his face, he hides a love for the beautiful, blind Dea. A corrupt Duchess (decadently played by Olga Baclanova) develops a fetishistic fascination for him but her attempts at seduction hid an evil purpose.

Gwynplaine's highly disturbing appearance was the inspiration for the creation of The Joker of Batman fame. Veidt was fitted with a set of horrific prosthetic teeth with metal hooks to hold back the corners of his mouth into a hideous grin. This film was also the first major makeup assignment for Jack Pierce who went on to create Frankenstein's appearance in 1931.

Directed by Paul Leni (Cat and the Canary, Waxworks) from the Victor Hugo novel, it also stars Mary Philbin (Phantom of the Opera) and Olga Baclanova (Freaks).

Fully embracing late German expressionism's brooding photography of shadow and light, The Man Who Laughs is a beautiful and haunting experience.

Join us for our annual fundraising screening and remember, the Fox is licenced for wine, beer and cider

Tickets: $15 at the door (cash please) Discount price for those who have Fox Membership cards


Toronto Silent Film Festival: The Man Who Laughs

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